The head of the U.N.’s climate change body, Yvo de Boer, at the World Economic Forum in 2009.
Yvo de Boer, the head of the United Nations’ climate change body, has unexpectedly resigned after four years—and after the failure of the Copenhagen climate talks in December—in a move that could significantly set back global negotiations on climate change and emissions.
De Boer told The Associated Press his resignation was not related to the failure of the Copenhagen talks, which he said was “a pity.” The Dutch diplomat is the world’s most experienced climate change negotiator, and the U.N. faces a difficult road replacing him. —JCL
Yvo de Boer, head of the UN’s climate change body for the last four years, has unexpectedly resigned in a move which could further set back the global negotiations.
In a telephone interview given to Associated Press, the veteran UN diplomat said he was announcing his retirement to allow UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to find a successor well before November when 192 countries meet in Mexico to conclude fraught climate talks. He will leave officially in July.
De Boer said that he was not quitting the key UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) post because the Copenhagen climate talks in December were widely seen as a failure. “We were about an inch away from a formal agreement. It was basically in our grasp, but it didn’t happen. So that was a pity,” he said.